Oldsmobile Rocket 88

Body StyleFastback
Engine303 CU”

The History

The 1949 Oldsmobile “Rocket” 88  was the first year for the 88 model, which continued in production for 50 years The major feature of this car was the introduction of the Rocket V8 engine.  This revolutionary overhead valve engine proceeded to clean up in all racing venue’s, from drag racing to NASCAR and gave this car the lengendary reputation of beeing the first real muscle car.

This specific car has a beautiful straight body complete with dark blue metallic paint along with classic pinstriping.  The painted coves look right at home and really compliment the body lines well.  Custom touches include shaved door handles (with both hidden and remote openers) along with taillights from a 1959 Cadillac.  The fender skirts and whitewall radial tyres are great accents, as are the working spotlights and faux side pipes.  The windshield and vent window visors are a nice touch too.  All brightwork and glass is in very good condition.

The real money has been spent on this car under the hood, 303 cubic inches of Olds Rocket V8!  The motor was completely rebuilt in 1998 and converted to 12v system, including vintage Edmunds intake and dual Rochester Backdraft carburettors fed by an electric fuel pump.  The Edmonds air cleaners and chrome Rocket valve covers look great too.  It also has a Schneider racing cam and modern Mallory Unilite electronic ignition and oil filter adapter.  It fires up and runs great, with dual glasspacks for a nice exhaust sound.  Note the engine has hardened valve seats for compatibility with unleaded gas.  The Hydra-matic transmission works fine also; just remember there is no Park position on these old automatics.

The car has many other mechanical upgrades such as Air Ride Technologies suspension.  This is a professionally installed setup that lets the car sit low for cruising, but can be raised for things like speed bumps and driveways.  It includes a gauge with both front and rear pressure indicators so you always know where things are at. Additional mechanical work includes a fully rebuilt front end with new rack and pinion steering, along with heavy duty anti-sway bars front and rear.  There are also new power brakes with discs in front for much improved stopping power.

The stunning black and white custom interior is very well done.  The seats and door panels look great as does the magnificent headliner.  The dash received pinstriping to match the exterior.  The headlights, turn signals, horn, heater, and pushbutton starter all work great.  Note the vacuum wiper mechanism is presently disconnected.  There is a full compliment of aftermarket gauges for oil pressure, water temperature, voltage, and fuel level.  The original radio remains in place but has been made obsolete by a hidden pioneer unit with front and rear speakers and a trunk mounted subwoofer and CD changer.

This is a real gem of a car that sets itself apart nicely.  It has loads of old school features coupled with just enough modern updates for a reliable, enjoyable classic.